OSG asks SC to dismiss petition blocking Guanzon's party-list substitution bid

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 15) — The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) urged the Supreme Court to dismiss the petition filed by the Duterte Youth Party-list over the substitution bid of former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon as first nominee of P3PWD Party-list.

Assistant Solicitor General Maria Victoria Sardillo-Salom made the manifestation in the OSG's opening statement at the opening of oral arguments at the high court on Tuesday.

The OSG said Comelec's decision to approve the substitution of Guanzon underwent the right process, and her name was reflected in the new set of nominees.

Sardillo-Salom cited Republic Act 7941 or the "Party-List System Act," which contains "the power to promulgate the necessary rules and regulations to carry out the purpose of the party-list system."

In June 2022, Comelec approved the substitution of Guanzon and the new set of nominees a day after the original five nominees of P3PWD party-list resigned.

However, Duterte Youth chairman Ronald Cardema said the substitution of the P3PWD nominees was invalid since it violated Comelec's rule that substitution "shall be made not later than Nov. 15, 2021."

The OSG, in response, said jurisdiction of the case still lies on Comelec since Guanzon did not assume office yet.

Several persons with disabilities were also present during the arguments to show their support for Guanzon.

Filipina Paralympic powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta said they hope they will be represented at the chamber sooner rather than later.

"Hangga't hindi nauupo ang aming representative ay walang boses o tinig yung mga may kapansanan sa Kongreso," she stressed.

[Translation: As long as there is no representative, the disabled community has no voice in Congress.]

The next oral arguments have been set for Nov. 28.